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Factors Influencing Biodiversity and Distributional Gradients in Mangroves

Norman C. Duke, Marilyn C. Ball and Joanna C. Ellison
Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters
Vol. 7, No. 1, Biodiversity and Function of Mangrove Ecosystems (Jan., 1998), pp. 27-47
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2997695
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2997695
Page Count: 21
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Factors Influencing Biodiversity and Distributional Gradients in Mangroves
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Abstract

Numerous factors affect the distribution of mangrove plants. Most mangrove species are typically dispersed by water-buoyant propagules, allowing them to take advantage of estuarine, coastal and ocean currents both to replenish existing stands and to establish new ones. The direction they travel depends on sea currents and land barriers, but the dispersal distance depends on the time that propagules remain buoyant and viable. This is expected to differ for each species. Similarly, each species will also differ in establishment success and growth development rate, and each has tolerance limits and growth responses which are apparently unique. Such attributes are presumably responsible for the characteristic distributional ranges of each species, as each responds to the environmental, physical and biotic settings they might occupy. In practice, species are often ordered by the interplay of different factors along environmental gradients, and these may conveniently be considered at four geographic scales-global, regional, estuarine and intertidal. We believe these influencing factors act similarly around the world, and to demonstrate this point, we present examples of distributional gradients from the two global biogeographic regions, the Atlantic East Pacific and the Indo-West Pacific.

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